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It Doesn’t Matter When Jared Goff Starts. It’s Still Jeff Fisher’s Rams.

Momentum is picking up behind the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft making his NFL debut soon. It won’t matter.

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In the last 24 hours, there’s been a renewed spike in pushing the idea of Los Angeles Rams rookie backup franchise QB Jared Goff into the fore of the media consciousness after starting QB Case Keenum’s Week 5 performance:

Jared Goff! The savior! Impressive throws! The clamoring!

Let’s be absolutely clear: it won’t matter one bit when/if Jared Goff starts. This is Jeff Fisher’s Rams, and it’s incredible that so many people either (a) haven’t accepted that or (b) continue to peddle otherwise.

Jeff Fisher is the second-most experienced head coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick. The idea that he still is figuring things out or that things are in flux under his management is silly. Fisher coached the Titans (nee Oilers) for 16 full seasons. He’s into his fifth as the Rams’ head coach. We don’t need more time to gauge where things are going.

Here’s every quarterback who has played under Jeff Fisher since he became the Titans’ full time coach in 1995:

  • Chris Chandler
  • Will Furrer
  • Steve McNair
  • Dave Krieg
  • James Ritchey
  • Steve Matthews
  • Neil O’Donnell
  • Billy Volek
  • Doug Johnson
  • Matt Mauck
  • Vince Young
  • Kerry Collins
  • Chris Simms
  • Rusty Smith
  • Sam Bradford
  • Kellen Clemens
  • Austin Davis
  • Shaun Hill
  • Nick Foles
  • Case Keenum

For 23 years, Jeff Fisher has proven to everyone it doesn’t matter who his QB is. If he’s going to win games, he’s going to win them with defense, a running game, special teams and timeliness.

The one QB every Fisher acolyte and hopeful Rams fan points to is Steve McNair, the three-time Pro Bowler and 2003 NFL MVP as evidence that Fisher just needs a talented QB to succeed despite (a) coaching plenty of them and (b) most of his peers finding ways to win with similar caliber QBs.

So here’s one Steve McNair season and two other Fisher QB seasons. Pick which one is McNair’s:

  • A: 189.80 passing yards per start, 1.00 TD per, 0.87 INT per
  • B: 187.90 passing yards per, 1.00 TD per, 0.70 INT per
  • C: 250.13 passing yards per, 1.50 TD per, 1.13 INT per

Does it help if I mention the other two are Vince Young’s Pro Bowl 2009 season and Austin Davis’ 2014 season? How about if I add that the McNair season I used was his first Pro Bowl year, 2000?

If you think C’s the McNair year, you’d be wrong. That’s Austin Davis. McNair’s A. Vince Young posted the lowest INT rate of these three.

That’s Jeff Fisher’s QB position in a nutshell.


Sure. Let’s take McNair’s best season in Tennessee, 2003:

  • A: 310.75 passing yards per, 2.25 TD per, 1.25 INT per
  • B: 229.64 passing yards per, 1.71 TD per, 0.50 INT per
  • C: 260.43 passing yards per, 2.00 TD per, 1.14 INT per
  • D: 165.6 passing yards per, 0.80 TD per, 0.20 INT per
  • E: 219.2 passing yards per, 0.80 TD per, 1.00 INT per

A’s impressive from the yards, but that’s Billy Volek’s 2004 campaign.

D and E are just too low scoring, right? Yeah, that’s Case Keenum. D is last year; E is his 2016 season to this point.

So what of B & C? One has the yards and TD edge, but comes with more turnovers, the other loses offense for the sake of possession...that should give it away.

C is Kerry Collins in 2010.

McNair’s best season, 2003 in which the Titans went 12-4, came with less than 230 yards per game and less than a 28 passing TDs per 16-game season rate.

That’s the QB position under Jeff Fisher. It’s never going to take games over. It’s never going to excel on its own.

It’s never going to matter.

It’s why Sam Bradford’s best rates are in his two years away from the Rams. It’s why Nick Foles’ worst were with the Rams.

This system caps QB production lower than almost any in the NFL. The surrounding talent doesn’t help at all.

So quit hoping for Jared Goff to save the Rams. Ask why Jeff Fisher traded the Rams’ future to draft someone at a position that his system limits so severely in the first place.